The United Arab Emirates is the second home of expatriate labor force and UAE has extraordinarily strong labor laws to protect their rights.

UAE employment laws:

  1. Companies under Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization, they are governed by Federal Decree-Law No. 33/2021 On Regulation of Labour Relations
  • Domestic works govern under Federal Law no. (10) of 2017 On Domestic Workers
  • Free Zones companies govern under their specific Employment laws (Federal decree number 33 of 2021 except DIFC, Dubai and ADGM, Abu Dhabi, they have their own Employment legislations)

In the interest and to secure future of expatriate workers all UAE employment laws have gratuity and pension provisions. Here all provisions of Gratuity laws are described:

Federal Decree-Law No. 33/2021On Regulation of Labour Relations

Companies come under Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratization govern by this law. An employee is entitled to get gratuity after one year of continuous service.

According to Article 51 – A foreign Worker who works in a full-time pattern, and who has completed one year or more in Continuous Service, shall be entitled to an end-of-service gratuity upon the end of his service, calculated according to the Basic Salary, as follows:

Twenty-one day’s basic pay for each year of the first five years of service.

Thirty days basic pay for each additional year. Provided that the entire total remuneration shall not exceed two year’s pay.

Gratuity will receive for fractions of the year in proportion to the period he has worked during that year, provided that he has completed one year of Continuous Service.

The days of absence without pay shall not be included in the calculation of the length of service.

Federal Law no. (10) of 2017 On Domestic Workers

Domestic workers are defined in the law and a list of 19 Types of domestic workers occupations mention in the law that include housemaid, cook, house driver, farmer, Gardner etc. 

Article 26 of above mention law provides End of service compensation for the worker, who completes one year or more of continuous service, shall, at the end of service be entitled to an end-of-service compensation. The compensation shall be calculated on the basis of 14-day wages for each year of service and becomes due upon the termination of the contract.

Gratuity can be denied if contract is terminated by worker:

 Article 27 provides that worker shall be denied end-of-service compensation if the contract is terminated due to unlawful discontinuance of work or if the worker acts to terminate the contract without due cause.

Free Zones companies’ law

Mostly Free zones based in UAE follow Federal decree number 33 of 2021 but, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai and Abu Dhabi Global Market, Abu Dhabi have their own employment legislations.


DIFC Employment Law on end of service provides a mandatory DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) Plan.

The monthly compulsory contributions into the Scheme DEWS must be at least 5.83 percent of the employee’s basic salary for the first five years of service from 1st month of employment and 8.33 percent of the employee’s basic salary for each additional year of service.

Abu Dhabi Global Market EMPLOYMENT REGULATIONS 2015

ADGM also described gratuity rules in employment law and same rules of 21-day basic wage for first year to 5th year and 30 days basic wage after competition of 5 years and gratuity shall not exceed the wages of 2 years of service.

All above laws give right to Employer to deduct from the gratuity any amounts payable to the Employer by the Employee. Employee can file a complaint to appropriate authority if employer refuse to comply with the laws.


Atty. Imran Khan, a legal consultant in Bin Eid Advocates

This article is under the supervision of Atty. Imran Khan, a legal consultant in Bin Eid Advocates